A. Elijah was one of the greatest of all the OT prophets
1. During the dark and difficult days of King Ahab and Jezebel he was a voice in the wilderness and light in the sp. darkness that existed
2. He was willing to stand in the gap for God when it was needed most.
3. How we need more heroes like him in our sin sick society of today.
B. The Big showdown on Mt. Carmel is the climax of his life
1. There was a severe famine in the land after 3 years of no rain
2. King Ahab wanted to blame Elijah for causing the problem vv.16-17
3. The bold prophet goes nose to nose with this wicked king and tells him the truth about himself and what is happening in the land v.18
4. Ahab challenges him to PROVE IT and the showdown is ON.
5. Elijah is going to publicly embarrass and expose Ahab’s false gods v.19-20
I. GREAT CONFRONTATION
A. The Living God of Heaven v. The false idols of men of earth
1. Who is in the majority? There are 450 prophets of Baal and another 400 of Asherah all eating at the Kings table.
2. As well as that you have the Sons of Israel - Elijah’s own countrymen who followed these false gods.
3. Then you have one prophet plus God. Who would you wager would win this confrontation?
B. This is essentially the same battle that we face today as Christians
1. The names may have changed but nothing else has.
2. Faithful Christians who are standing on the Word of God against the unbelievers of this age, with all their idols, and unfaithful brethren, who
have departed and deserted the truth.
3. Paul once warned Timothy that in "the latter times, so shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their conscience seared with a hot iron" (I Tim.4:1-2) cf. II Tim.4:2-5
4. We must stand firm and strong against the forces of evil just as Elijah did on Mt. Carmel - and not compromise Eph.6:10-17
II. GRAND CHALLENGE 18:21-29
A. Elijah challenged the people to make up their minds
1. How long will you hesitate between two opinions?
2. The Hebrew word PASACH means to limp
3. The people were limping from God to Baal and Baal to God
4. It was time to make a decision, and stop sitting on the fence.
5. Who is on the Lord’s Side? We must make the same decision, and the sooner the better.
B. The hardest thing to make sometimes is a DEFINITE DECISION
1. We love to procrastinate and wait for the ideal opportunity.
2. But remember what happened to Felix? Acts 24:25
3. He refused to make a decision and it cost him his soul.
4. NOW is the accepted time - II Cor.6:2; Eunuch, Jailer, Saul of Tarsus-IMMEDIATE OBEDIENCE (See Acts 8, 16, 22:16).
III. GLORIOUS CLIMAX - 18:31-40
A. The Prophets of Baal had failed to contact their god
1. Despite all their ranting and raving, scratching and screaming - NOTHING
2. Now it’s Elijah’s turn to show the POWER of God
3. He builds an altar, presents sacrifice, pours on water and PRAYS v.36-37
4. The result is AMAZING - fire from Heaven, everything consumed, Zap - God’s response is immediate, instantaneous and spectacular.
B. The Response from the People is one of Awe and Respect for the God of Heaven.
v.39 What must our response be? What can we learn?
1. Divided allegiance is as wrong as open idolatry.
2. Our most effective tool is prayer - Jas.5:16-18 READ
3. Never underestimate the power of one life totally dedicated to God.
GOD WORKS THROUGH FRAIL PEOPLE LIKE US, WHEN OUR HEARTS ARE COMPLETELY HIS!
Is thy Heart right with God? On Pentecost, people were pricked to the heart - and were asked to make a decision. God is asking you to make that same decision today - to come down off the fence and live all out for Him. THE DIVIDING LINE between the SAVED
and the UNSAVED is at BAPTISM! Which side of that line are you on today?? Acts 2:37-47 Cleansed by the blood or not?
Arise and be baptized and wash away your sins - why are you waiting? WHY NOT COME TO HIM NOW....